CAT considers dispute resolution whilst Ofcom publishes annual communications market review

Regular readers will have noticed that this blog has been rather quiet of late. Normal service will be resumed in September – for now my energies are being directed into writing up some original research on mobile money as well as a chapter on EU telecoms law for a textbook, so please bear with the rather lower frequency of blog post output than normal.

Last week the CAT published its core judgment in the linked ladder pricing cases. At 200 pages it is hardly a light read but contains some interesting observations on Ofcom’s dispute resolution powers and in particular builds on the CAT’s prior ruling in the MTR case that disputes should be resolved in a way that is fair (as between the parties) and reasonable (in light of regulatory framework). I’m still digesting the detail and implications of the judgment, but it looks like it will materially influence Ofcom’s approach to the resolution of future disputes.

This week Ofcom published their annual review of the UK communications market. It is an incredibly useful document – much more so than many paid for research reports and I find that it is well worth getting beyond the summary into the detail. The press have generally picked up on the headline story of smartphone adoption (hmm – first paragraph of first page…) but the detail shows the underlying market story of falling fixed line connections, fixed call volumes and fixed revenues, with that decline not even beginning to be offset by fixed broadband revenue whilst mobile call volumes and mobile data continue to climb (albeit that price reductions mean that mobile revenues has not risen in line with increased usage):